H15 Boutique, Warsaw Poland ***

Q: What is it? A: Serviced, spacious apartments in a former Soviet Embassy building in the heart of Warsaw. The standard is very good, but don’t come here and expect a completely hotel-like service.

H15 Apartments, Warsaw, Poland – the façade
Would Putin wet his pants in sheer excitement? Not likely. It may be too small for the Jeremy Cricket of world politics (his dachas are the size of hangars). But the guy who can’t go fishing without throwing his shirt off would probably appreciate the al stucco Soviet hammers and sickles that are visible here and there on the façade and inside.

H15 Apartments, Warsaw, Poland – the bedroom
Pretty nice. More like a bedroom than a hotel bedroom. See the glass door to the right. An awesome room if you want to see when your travel companion takes a dump… just keep scrolling down.

H15 Apartments, Warsaw, Poland – the shower
On the other side of the aforementioned glass door: WC. Shower. Sink. Some activities will probably be nice to watch. Some won’t. In my protocol: Don’t expect the door to the shower cabin to be as tight as a submarine’s.

H15 Apartments, Warsaw, Poland – the bathroom
The real bathroom is far away from the bedroom which is good for very obvious reasons connected with your, ahem… bodily functions. Has space. Has a tub. Has just about everything. Including a dangerously hot towel rack.

H15 Apartments, Warsaw, Poland – the livingroom
Here you could easily host a party for 20 people and celebrate. Not sure that the property management would applaud the initiative, though. The bottom line: This room is… well, big. Must have been the office of the KGB top dog.

Now, if Communism-chic is your cup of tea…
Can’t say that I’m fond of the cult following certain commie symbols. Shows a lack of respect for history. My hunch is that the leftist movement of today would run in the other direction if Che Guevara had looked like, say… Helmut Kohl. And today, when the Russian dictator is making remarks about Novorossiya*, I think that once again many people will frown on using the hammer and the sickle cool little decorations. But Architect Mariola Tomczak definitely found the Soviet symbols worth preserving when this old embassy building was converted into a hotel during 2007 -2012.

Rooms are more apartments than hotel rooms.
First time I noticed the H15 it had ‘apartments’ in its name. Now it’s sometimes ”H15 Boutique”. On TripAdvisor (where it’s been ranked as the #1 property in Warsaw for quite a while) it’s ”H15 Boutique Apartments”. So what is it? The conversion into a hotel came at a cost, $21 million to be precise, and for that money they didn’t exactly have to hold back when furnishing the rooms. They are pretty top-notch. Modern kitchen. No cheap materials. Furniture with a price tag. All that. In my book the design is a tad too cold – it wouldn’t have taken that much to make the living homey as well. Nice bedroom, though.

Service isn’t exactly there.
I don’t know if the guy manning the front desk is a leftover from the Soviet Embassy, but he has an approach to guests and service that seems to stem from the days of Chernenko. He’s either quietly performing his duties or… not showing up at all. By far one of the emptiest front desks ever. This, dear H15, is costing you a star. Also, I find this establishment being slightly overpriced (overall Warsaw will offer you mucho value for money) although rooms are also oversized. All’n’all, the H15 is a welcome addition to the Warsaw hotel scene – some boutique-y places like the Rialto have begun to feel slightly jaded), but they need to direct their attention to meet the guest. Shiny kitchens won’t do. And, while you’re at it, tear down those commie symbols, will you?

H 15 Boutique
Poznańska 15
00-680 Warsaw


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*Google it – it’s a reference the Russian Empire in 1764-1873, denoting an area north of the Black Sea which is presently part of Ukraine. Q: Why is it surprising that Mr. Putin is mentioning Novorossiya? A: Well, imagine living in Ukraine, hearing the bad neighbor up north basically claiming your territory…

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